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ISD Scotland better information, better decisions, better health

Information Services Division

ISD Scotland is part of NHS National Services Scotland

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

About ISD

Scotland has some of the best health service data in the world. Few other countries have information which combines high quality data, consistency, national coverage and the ability to link data to allow patient based analysis and follow up. The Information Services Division (ISD) is a division of National Services Scotland, part of NHS Scotland. ISD provides health information, health intelligence, statistical services and advice that support the NHS in progressing quality improvement in health and care and facilitates robust planning and decision making.

More about ISD

What's New in ISD?

Prescribing Data Consultation

Users and stakeholders of national prescribing data held by the Information Services Division were invited to submit their views on proposed changes to the way in which this information is made available. The consultation ran from mid September 2015 until the end of October 2015. The results and conclusions of this consultation can be found here [79kb].
[18 December 2015]

NHS Performs - Latest update

NHS Performs has been updated to include information on:

  • Emergency Department activity for the week ending 15 May 2016
  • Numbers of hospital wards closed with confirmed or presumed Norovirus infections on 16 May 2016
  • Number of Delayed Discharges for April 2016
  • Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios for quarter ending December 2015

NHS Performs

NHS Performs is a website which brings together a range of information on how hospitals and NHS Boards within NHSScotland are performing.  It aims to provide this information in an easy to access, clear and understandable way.
[24 May 2016]

See our News Archive for earlier stories

Latest Statistics

Published: 24 May 2016
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This is the last release of Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios (HSMRs), reporting on progress towards the current phase of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme. HSMRs are calculated when mortality data are adjusted to take account of some of the factors known to affect the underlying risk of death. The HSMR calculation includes patients who died within 30 days from hospital admission. NHS Boards use HSMR information to help improve the quality of care and treatment.

Published: 24 May 2016
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Hospital bed days associated with delays in discharge in March 2016

  • In March 2016, patients spent 46,309 days in hospital due to delays in discharge. This is a 7% decrease on the same period last year.
  • In the year ending March 2016, patients spent 55,585 fewer days delayed in hospital than in the previous year. This represents a 9% decrease.

Patients ready for discharge as at April 2016 census

  • 1,107 patients were delayed at the April 2016 census. This is a 5% decrease on March 2016 and a 1% increase on the same period last year.
  • 33% of these delays (367) were for patients with specific complex care needs.
  • Of the remaining 740 patients delayed at the census:
    • 247 (33%) were awaiting place availability in a care home
    • 189 (25%) were awaiting completion of a post hospital social care assessment
    • 150 (20%) were awaiting completion of social care arrangements for social care support to live in their own home
Published: 24 May 2016
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This release focuses on 1.3 million attendances that take place at the 30 Emergency Departments in Scotland each year. It looks at the daily and weekly and seasonal patterns of attendance at Emergency Departments.

Published: 24 May 2016
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During the week ending 15 May 2016:

  • There were 27,733 attendances at Emergency Departments across Scotland.
  • 93.1% of people attending Emergency Departments were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours.
  • 136 patients (0.5%) spent more than 8 hours in an Emergency Department.
  • 12 patients (0%) spent more than 12 hours in an Emergency Department.
Published: 17 May 2016
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  • There were 1,275 people diagnosed with melanoma in NHSScotland during 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.
  • Overall Scotland met three of the eleven indicators. No NHS Board managed to meet all eleven indicators.
  • Five year survival rates for Scotland were slightly lower for males than females across all age groups.
  • There were minimal differences in five year survival rates between the three regional cancer networks in Scotland.

Published: 17 May 2016
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  • In 2014, 31,711 people in Scotland were diagnosed with cancer: 16,183 women and 15,528 men.
  • Over the last ten years, age-adjusted incidence rates of cancer in Scotland have decreased by 3% for men but increased by 6% for women.
  • Cancer is more common as people get older. In 2014, 75% of cancer diagnoses were in people aged 60 and over.
  • Lung cancer remains the most common cancer in Scotland. In 2014, 5,307 cases were diagnosed. The next most common was breast cancer (4,610 cases), followed by colorectal cancer (3,721 cases).
  • There is considerable variation in incidence rates between different types of cancer. For instance, the incidence rate of cervical cancer has increased by 18% over the last ten years. In contrast, the rate for cancer of the stomach in men has decreased by 32% over the same period.

Published: 17 May 2016
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  • In 2014/15, initial assessments for specialist drug treatment relating to 12,402 individuals were recorded on SDMD.
  • 46% of the 8,692 individuals on whom we have information on recent ‘illicit’ drug use (including Novel Psychoactive Substances/legal highs), sought treatment for heroin, 20% for cannabis and 10% diazepam.
  • The percentage of under 25s reporting recent heroin use decreased from 58% in 2006/07 to 23% in 2014/15.
  • A general downward trend in the percentage of individuals reporting current injecting was observed (from 28% in 2006/07 to 20% in 2014/15).
  • Between 2006/07 and 2014/15 current sharing of needles/syringes decreased from 12% to 6%, whilst sharing of injecting paraphernalia fell from 20% to 8%.
  • The percentage of individuals aged 35 and over increased from 30% in 2006/07 to 48% in 2014/15.

Published: 17 May 2016
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  • The total number of items dispensed in February 2016 was 8.26 million, an increase of 4.3% compared to February 2015.
  • The gross ingredient cost of items dispensed in February 2016 was £89.4 million, an increase of 12.0% compared to February 2015.
  • The total Primary care drugs budget has consistently increased over the last year, as seen this February. A large portion of this is explained by a Hospital to Community Pharmacy shift in the dispensing of newer Hepatitis C drugs. Other factors, such as price adjustments for items with supply issues and increased uptake or newer therapeutic agents, also contribute to this increase.

Published: 17 May 2016
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During the week ending 8 May 2016:

  • There were 27,044 attendances at Emergency Departments across Scotland.
  • 93.4% of people attending Emergency Departments were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours.
  • 90 patients (0.3%) spent more than 8 hours in an Emergency Department.
  • 3 patients (0%) spent more than 12 hours in an Emergency Department.

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Information Requests

ISD routinely publishes Scotland's official health statistics on the ISD website. If you cannot find the information you require on the website contact our Customer Support Desk by email or call on 01312757777.

Information Requests


ISD works with information collected about patients and the NHSScotland workforce. We work very hard to ensure the safe and secure storage, use and management of that information.

More about Confidentiality

Media Monitoring

If you would like to know more about what is going on in the health service, you may be interested in Information Services Library's media monitoring service. This provides twice daily updates on health related stories being reported in the Scottish media.

Media Monitoring

National Data Catalogue

The National Data Catalogue (NDC) is a single definitive resource of information on Scottish Health and Social Care datasets that incorporates the Data Dictionary, information on the National Datasets and New Developments.

Visit the NDC website


ScotPHO, The Scottish Public Health ObservatoryThe Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) is a major web resource that has been developed by ISD Scotland in collaboration with NHS Health Scotland and other key national organisations.

Visit the ScotPHO website

© ISD Scotland 2010
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